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Simon Holywell:
Importing and aliasing PHP functions
Oct 24, 2016 @ 11:34:29

In this recent post to his site Simon Holywell continues his look at namespacing in PHP with a look at importing and aliasing specific functions, not the entire class.

As a follow on to my short post about namespaces and functions from a year ago I thought it would be worth covering importing a specific function and aliasing functions via namespace operators too. This has been possible since PHP 5.6, but there is a nice addition in PHP 7 I’ll cover towards the end.

He starts with a refresher example of pulling in a namespace and using a method with the "use" statement. Following this he shares an update that just imports the one method via a "use function" call rather than the entire class/namespace. He again refactors this into something more usable (the original method name is quite long) with an alias. He then ends the post with the PHP 7 only trick using the braces to define grouped namespace handling (however, this doesn't allow for function level aliasing).

tagged: import alias function namespace grouping php7 tutorial

Link: https://www.simonholywell.com/post/2016/10/importing-and-aliasing-php-functions/

5 New Features In PHP 7 That You Should Have A Look At
Oct 19, 2016 @ 09:43:05

If you've heard about the release of PHP 7 but aren't quite sure what it has to offer, check out this quick post on the StartTutorial site giving you a "top five" list of things this new version of the language has to offer.

But you must be wondering why PHP named its latest release PHP 7 and not PHP 6. Reason behind it is that, many of the PHP 6 releases were already implemented in PHP 5.3 and later, there was not really a proper reason just to change the name. What I am trying to say here is that we haven’t missed anything. Just to avoid the confusion with a dead project, PHP's latest release was named to PHP 7.

Is This Hype Valid for PHP 7? What It Actually Brings Forth for the Developers? Hop on and let’s take a deeper dive. Let's check out what new features PHP 7 has to offer. And what improvements those features will bring forth.

Their top five list covers some of the major improvements in the language:

  • Speed Improvement
  • Implementation of Type Declarations
  • Implementation of Error Handling
  • New Operators
  • CSPRNG Functions

There's a bit of explanation of each item on the list but you'll definitely want to refer to the PHP manual for more details and specifics on what changed in PHP 7.

tagged: php7 feature top5 list speed typing errors operators csprng

Link: https://www.startutorial.com/articles/view/5-new-features-in-php-7-that-you-should-have-a-look-at

Dailymotion.com Engineering Blog:
PHP 7 deployment at Dailymotion
Oct 18, 2016 @ 13:53:51

On the Dailymotion.com Engineering blog there's a recent post detailing their experiences moving their services to PHP 7 and some of the discoveries they made along the way.

In march 2015, we started to think that code refactoring and architecture improvements, will not be the only way to optimize the response time on dailymotion.com. This is the core problem of websites with high load : “how to scale without investing too much in people/servers”.

They started out by looking into Facebook's HHVM project to potentially replace the default PHP interpreter with a better performing core. They mention incompatibilities they discovered and some of the results in testing it on a handful of servers in production. They had some time to play with things so they waited until PHP 7 was officially released and tried that to make an equal comparison. In the end, they ultimately chose to go with PHP 7 as it was the route with less "friction" and work on changes for their current codebase. The post also includes graph output of some of the improvements they saw when

tagged: dailymotion engineering php7 deployment experience

Link: http://engineering.dailymotion.com/php-7-deployment-at-dailymotion/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Quick Intro: PhpCompatibility for PHPCS – Are You PHP7 Ready?
Sep 27, 2016 @ 11:13:17

The SitePoint PHP blog has a quick tutorial posted helping you get your application PHP 7 ready with the help of the PhpCompatibility "sniffs" for the widely used PHP_CodeSniffer tool.

Sooner or later, there will come a time when you will need to migrate your projects to different PHP versions. How will you check if you’re compatible with a PHP version different to the one you’ve been developing on?

One possibility is always to install the version of PHP we want to migrate to, run php -l or something like PHPSA to check for syntax errors, check the PHP documentation for known issues with the migration and hope for the best. Or, we can use some available third party tools to check for PHP version compatibility in our projects.

The article then introduces the PHPCompatibility set of sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer and installing them with a "git clone" in the right Standards directory. Also included are some basics for using PHP_CodeSniffer (like the command line options) and an example of some of the output from the compatibility check. The post wraps up with a real-life example using the PHPMailer codebase and testing it for PHP 5.6 readiness.

tagged: php7 codesniffer compatibility test codebase sniff

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/quick-intro-phpcompatibility-standard-for-phpcs-are-you-php7-ready/

Michelangelo van Dam:
PHP 7 on macOS Sierra
Sep 26, 2016 @ 09:24:18

Michelangelo van Dam has posted a "follow up" to his previous article about setting up a PHP installation on the recent versions of Mac OSX. In this new tutorial he makes some updates for the latest OS X release: Sierra.

Apple has released the latest version of their OS X operating system to the broad public and many have already upgraded their mac devices. But as it goes with each release, Apple likes to do things a bit different making it quite challenging for PHP developers to stay current with the latest PHP version (or other versions).

This version of mac OS (11.12) comes pre-installed with PHP 5.6.24. [...] Good for Apple, but this version reaches end-of-life support by the end of this year, so it would be great if you could upgrade to PHP 7.0 or even play with the latest PHP 7.1 release candidates.

While he points out that things like XAMPP and Homebrew can be used to set the installation up, he focuses more on compiling and installing it natively. He shares an issue he had with a missing runtime and how to get it installed and working happily so the PHP compile completes without issues.

tagged: mac osx runtime compile php7 sierra issue tutorial

Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2016/09/php-7-on-macos-sierra.html

Master Zend Framework:
Preparing Legacy Applications for PHP 7 with Phan
Sep 08, 2016 @ 12:07:42

The Master Zend Framework site has posted a new tutorial for those making the move in their legacy applications up to the world of PHP 7. In it Matthew Setter shows how to use phan, a static analysis tool, to locate issues that could cause breakage in the upgrade.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last 12 - 18 months, you will have heard about PHP 7; the latest version of PHP. Not only is it fast, by some reports it’s up to twice as fast as PHP 5.6, and far less memory hungry.

[...] Unfortunately, your application’s source code may not be 100% compatible with version 7. Upgrading may well leave you with a broken application and a set of unhappy customers. So before you go breaking your site in the interests of speed and being one of the cool kids, find out if your code’s compatible. How? By using a static code analyser, one which gives you all the changes you need to make on your code, so that you can upgrade with confidence.

He then shows how to install the Phan tool via Composer and execute it against your codebase. The result of his commands are a file that contains the issues found during the scan. If there are some "false positives" you'd like to ignore he also shows you how to create a config.php file with these and other values set to make it all more reusable.

tagged: php7 upgrade phan detect static analysis code tutorial

Link: http://www.masterzendframework.com/preparing-for-php7-with-phan/

Alex Bowers:
Writing a Hello World PHP 7 Extension
Aug 25, 2016 @ 12:25:47

In a recent post to his site Alex Bowers shows you the steps involved in creating a "Hello World" PHP 7 extension with some basic output functionality - basically just echoing out a message.

He jumps right into the code and shows you how to:

  • set up the directory and initial files for the extension
  • write the test case first (a simple PHP file checking if it's loaded and can be used)
  • updating the config.m4 to allow for enabling the extension
  • the code for src/hello.h to define the function

The final piece is the code in the src/hello.c - the C code to define some structure for the PHP interpreter to understand and be able to execute the PHP_FUNCTION(hello_world). Finally he shows how to make the extension to install it, add it to your php.ini file as a shared module and re-run the test.

tagged: helloworld extension tutorial example simple php7

Link: https://zando.io/writing-a-hello-world-php-7-extension/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Up and Running with the Fastest PHP Framework on PHP7 in 5 Mins
Aug 24, 2016 @ 11:22:46

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc has posted a tutorial helping you get up and running with PHP 7 and Phalcon in five minutes on a Homestead Improved virtual machine.

You may remember our past infatuation with Phalcon, the fastest PHP framework.

In this post, we’ll go through the process of getting it up and running in 5 minutes on one of our <a href="http://www.sitepoint.com/quick-tip-get-homestead-vagrant-vm-running/>Homestead Improved instances. If you’re not interested in why or what Phalcon is, just skip ahead to “Setting it up”.

He starts with a brief recap of what the Phalcon framework is (including Zephir), some history behind it and the latest advancement around the framework: LTS support for v3.0. The tutorial then gets into the setup and configuration of the VM along with PHP 7 and the latest stable version of Phalcon. He then uses the sample application provided by Phalcon and getting it boostrapped and running.

tagged: phalcon php7 tutorial demo homesteadimproved vm setup configure extension

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/up-and-running-with-the-fastest-php-framework-on-php7-in-5-mins/

GetStream.io Blog:
Build Scalable Newsfeeds with PHP 7 and Laravel – in 60 Minutes
Aug 01, 2016 @ 12:56:57

In a recent post to their blog GetStream.io shows you how to build scalable news feeds with Laravel (and their service).

With all the excitement around the release of PHP 7 – here at Stream we have decided to give our own PHP a refresher – from our client, example apps, and Laravel framework integration. The original Stream PHP example application is built upon Laravel 5.0, as well as a branch for use in Laravel 4. We’re happy to say that the Stream-Laravel framework integration is compatible with 5.2 – and if you follow this post, we’ll be building an example application that works with 5.2 using Stream-Laravel.

The tutorial then goes through all the steps and tools you'll need to get a complete application environment set up:

  • Create LEMP Stack Droplet in DigitalOcean
  • Installing and Configuring PHP 7
  • Laravel 5.2 Quickstart Example Application Setup
  • Integrating Stream via Stream-Laravel into Quickstart Example

The end result is a basic social app that allows for basic feed functionality and includes the ability to follow/unfollow certain users.

tagged: newsfeed getstreamio tutorial laravel php7 scalable

Link: http://blog.getstream.io/build-scalable-newsfeeds-with-php-7-and-laravel-in-60-minutes/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Can We Have Static Types in PHP without PHP 7 or HHVM?
Jul 26, 2016 @ 11:34:57

On the SitePoint PHP blog Younes Rafie asks the question "Can we have static types in PHP without PHP 7 or HHVM?" One of the main features introduced by both of these versions (or platforms) is the ability to type things strictly and enforce more correct data handling. Previously PHP has been a "lazy typing" language and would regularly shift the type of a variable depending on the immediate need. Obviously, this can lead to unpredictable behavior.

Now that PHP 7 has been out for a while with interesting features like error handling, null coalescing operator, scalar type declarations, etc., we often hear the people still stuck with PHP 5 saying it has a weak typing system, and that things quickly become unpredictable.

Even though this is partially true, PHP allows you to keep control of your application when you know what you’re doing.

They show how, through a series of examples, to add a bit of additional validation with exceptions to ensure the input is the correct type. However this can be a bit more time consuming and difficult to remember so the team at Box put together the augmented types extension that brings some of the static typing to PHP 5.x. They help you get it installed and working in your PHP installation and include an example of it in use with DocBlock-based type hints. The extension provides handling for the basic types as well as arrays, multiple arguments, default values and return types.

tagged: static types php7 hhvm extension augmented types tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/can-we-have-static-types-in-php-without-php-7-or-hhvm/